Details surrounding Toyota's innovative manual transmission simulation for electric vehicles have emerged through a recently disclosed patent application, shedding light on the potential sophistication of the system. The patent outlines Toyota's development of an alibi gearbox capable of simulating up to 14 gears, providing electric car drivers with a pseudo-realistic manual shifting experience.
Initial rumors about Toyota's venture into creating a manual transmission simulation for electric cars surfaced in February 2022. The concept involves integrating a gearshift and a clutch pedal to mimic the tactile sensation of manual gear changes, with the actual shifts being executed solely through onboard electronics.
A year ago, Toyota showcased a prototype of the system in a Lexus UX 300e, emphasizing the quiet operation of the electric vehicle (EV) from the exterior. Takashi Watanabe, Chief Engineer of Lexus' electric vehicle department, highlighted the project's enjoyable nature and stated that the positive response led to serious development efforts.
Recent reports indicate that the patent application's technical document includes visuals illustrating a system with the capability of simulating up to 14 gears, a notable increase from the standard six to seven gears found in traditional transmissions. The system introduces “virtual gear steps,” allowing users to select the number of simulated gears, enhancing the customization and user experience of the feature.
Toyota's pursuit of a simulated manual transmission for electric cars aligns with its commitment to offering diverse driving experiences in the EV landscape. The development showcases the company's dedication to innovation and exploring unique avenues to enhance the driving pleasure of electric vehicle users.